Heavy rainfalls: Lagos state govt sets to demolish buildings on drainage alignments, warn owners to relocate
The Lagos State Government has announced that many buildings that have infringed on drainage alignments in Mende, Maryland and Aboru in Alimosho, may soon be demolished.
This follows the resurgence of floods in those areas and some of the other parts of Lagos due to some heavy rainfalls experienced recently.
This disclosure is contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, where he warned owners of all structures on drainage alignments and setbacks to relocate to higher grounds as heavy rainfall intensifies.
Bello said that it was regrettable that despite several warnings, the residents of those areas have refused to move but would rather resort to cheap blackmail of having nowhere to relocate.
The commissioner, who spoke against the background of a viral video of some people being rescued in Mende, emphasised that the area is a low-lying flood plain while the broadcast affirmed that the Office of Drainage services had marked all the buildings.
He noted that the location is the drainage route for all the water coming from Agindigbi, Oregun, Opebi, Allen, GRA, Maryland up to Ogudu Foreshore.
He said, “It is time for the residents of all such areas in the State to hearken to the voice of reason by relocating to safeguard lives and property.’’
Bello pleaded for calm from all residents, assuring that the drainages have the capacity to contain water runoff when the rain stops just as it is happening already.
He said the heavy torrential rainfall which started in the early hours of Monday and still continued on Tuesday afternoon has caused flash floods in many areas.
The commissioner explained, “Residents are assured that within four hours after the rainfall ceases, the water level of the lagoon will go down because the flood will flow into the major collectors to enable the water on the roads and streets to recede.’’
Emphasising that Lagos is a coastal city with over one-third of its land mass underwater, Bello said part of the proactive measures embraced by the State is the all-year-round cleaning, clearing and outright construction of drainage channels that have increased their capacity to contain water and silt.
He pointed out that the measures have helped in mitigating the effects of flash floods on lives and property, stating that men of the quick rapid response drainage team named Emergency Flood Abatement Gang (EFAG) have continued to clean dark spots and free manholes across all primary, secondary and tertiary drains.
Bello reiterated the dangers inherent in people wading through floods, especially with high currents during rainfalls, warning that people and vehicles could be swept away in such situations.